This is a guest post from Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. I asked her to share her experiences about how parents can contribute to their kids thriving at school. Joyce has created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom. Over to Joyce...
Top Tips to Help you Child Thrive in School (from a retired Teacher)
As a parent, one of your priorities is to support your child in ways that encourage academic success. That success involves more than good grades and scholastic achievements. It also includes a healthy social life, consisting of positive relationships with peers, teachers, parents, and others. With some thoughtful considerations you can help your youngster to flourish in these important aspects.
- Structure Daily Life
- Designate a Study area
- Eat Meals together
- Stay involved
- Encourage Friendships
- Model Behaviour
- Help your youngster thrive
Structure daily life
Providing structure to your child’s days is a key element to success in school. As The Telegraph notes, a structured upbringing encourages success for children during their childhood as well as future adulthood. Providing structure and routine encourages confidence and inspires better discipline as adults. When they reach adulthood, children raised in a structured lifestyle are more apt to be able to find employment, find direction in life, and remain hopeful about their futures.
Designate a study area
Establishing a place and time for homework is a great way to encourage structure and success in your child’s school life. Allow your child to help decide where she or he will work, which will give your youngster ownership in the decision. Create a designated workspace based on your kid’s input. Chicago Parent recommends organizing the area with an assortment of school supplies so everything your child needs is at hand. If space is at a premium, consider purchasing a corner desk. Corner desks don’t take up much room, yet still provide your youngster with an appropriate place to study.
Eat meals together
While it may seem unrelated, one of the most important activities you can do to support your child is eating together as a family. According to some researchers, families that spend time together preparing and eating meals encourages children to do well in school in many ways. Kids who experience family mealtime develop better vocabularies, higher self-esteem, and have healthier eating habits. They are also less inclined to abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol.
It’s vital to talk with your children in order to hone in on any issues with their social life or school work. Ask your child open-ended questions, like, “What happened today that made you happy?” And ask, “What homework assignments do you have?” Staying on top of things through these simple queries tells your child you are interested and supportive. If you feel there is a problem, don’t overreact. Get all the facts first. When warranted, reach out to teachers for assistance with school assignments, low grades or other issues.
A healthy social life, along with good communication and coping skills begins very early in life. In fact, some studies show that preschool friendships help kids to start developing emotional and social skills while increasing their sense of belonging and reducing their stress levels. By interacting with their peers and with other adults, kids gain a foundation they will use for the rest of their lives. It’s through those childhood relationships children begin to understand the importance of seeing other people’s viewpoints, learning the unwritten rules of conversation, and age-appropriate social behaviors. Friendships also have tremendous influence over a child’s school performance and encourage or discourage socially unacceptable behavior. The evidence is so strong that friendships can help children flourish, some school systems are going out of their way to place children in classes with friends.
Your child looks to you for how to act, so being a good role model is extremely important. Nurturing your own friendships will send a positive message to your children, and modeling good relationship skills provides examples for your child. Look for teachable moments. You can share how you feel about a situation, or help your youngster label feelings by asking questions like, “When the butterfly died, that make you feel sad?”
Help your youngster thrive
There are things you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s success, both academically and socially. Provide structure, stay involved, and demonstrate healthy behaviors. Your child can flourish with thoughtfully chosen parenting strategies.
About Joyce Wilson
Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.
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